Toril Moi

Toril Moi lives in North Carolina and teaches at Duke. Her latest book is Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin and Cavell.

When I mentioned​ to a friend that I was going to review a biography of Nathalie Sarraute, his first question was: ‘Will she last?’ I hesitated to reply. First of all, it’s not clear what it means for a writer to ‘last’. Do we mean that she wrote books that will be read for pleasure for centuries, like Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina? Sarraute was too...

In the short space of time since the Liberation, Beauvoir had established herself as a writer and intellectual. Her first philosophical essay, Pyrrhus et Cinéas, had been well received, and in 1945, her second novel, The Blood of Others, had been praised as the first novel of the Resistance. In the public realm, her name was firmly linked to Jean-Paul Sartre’s, and to existentialism, which was becoming so fashionable that Sartre had to hire a secretary. No longer a beginner, no longer unknown, Beauvoir had nothing to prove; she could write about anything. She decided to write about herself.

Letter

Beauvoir Misrepresented?

11 February 2010

Toril Moi writes: Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier claim, as does Michelle Sommers, that I focus unfairly on a ‘few mistakes’ in the new translation of The Second Sex. Not so. In fact, I show that it suffers from pervasive problems concerning words for sex and gender, from incoherent syntax, loss of rhythm and clarity, unidiomatic expressions, and ‘false friends’,...

Staging Death: Ibsen's Modernism

Martin Puchner, 8 February 2007

Henrik Ibsen died in 1906, acknowledged as the founder of modern drama. Today, he is the most performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare. It was an unlikely success story. Born in 1828 in...

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Feminism is fiftysomething if you start counting from The Second Sex, and, like Toril Moi, a lot of academic women are taking stock. The good news is that wherever positive discrimination in...

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